5 things West Indies should do to improve
Things have been tough for West Indies Cricket of late. While the experienced players have been ignored by the Cricket board, the youngsters have failed time and again to perform against good teams.
After losing to India in the shorter formats at home, the Caribbean team was thrashed, by an innings and 209 runs, by England in the opening game of the 3-Test series at Edgbaston in what was also the first day-night Test in the country.
After winning an important toss, the England captain, Joe Root opted to bat on what looked like a good batting surface to start with. Windies, however, made two early inroads, dismissing debutant-Mark Stoneman and Tom Westley, the new number three for England.
But that was all that went well for the visitors on the first day. Captain Joe Root and the former captain, Alastair Cook put up an outstanding 248-run partnership for the third wicket. While Root got out after a scoring a brilliant hundred (136 off 189 balls), the experienced left-hander went on register his fourth double ton (243 off 407 balls) in Tests.
David Milan batted patiently for his 65 to help England cross 500-run mark. The hosts declared after putting up 514 on the board, as Root decided to make use of the new ball under lights.
For Windies, nobody apart from Kemar Roach looked even close to threatening. The pace was not there and neither was accuracy, as the England batsmen piled up the misery on the lackluster bowling attack.
As far as their batting is concerned, the less said the better.
The inexperienced batting unit could only last for 47 and 45.4 overs in the first and the second innings respectively. The James Anderson-Stuart Broad pair was too good for the visitors. The experienced duo picked up 10 wickets in the match.
The lone spinner in the England bowling line up, Moen Ali was excellent once again, as he troubled the batsmen throughout the match with his wily variations. Toby-Roland-Jones, too, impressed with his seam bowling and bagged four wickets in the match.
For the visitors, the only bright spot with the bat was Jermaine Blackwood’s fighting inning (79* off 76 balls) in the first innings. Carrying from the overnight score of 44-1, the Windies batsmen looked at sea against the moving ball and succumbed to disciplined bowling by the hosts. The Caribbeans lost 19 wickets on the third day alone and handed an easy win and a 1-0 lead to England.
There are plenty of issues that the Windies need to address before the next Test. And the change needs to happen quickly, as another loss means the series is lost.
So, let us look at the five things that the Windies should do to improve.
5. Believing in themselves to deliver
For most of the players in the West Indies side, this is the first tour to England and that can be a problem. It can take some time to get used to the conditions, to adjust one’s game. And the form that the current England team is in is also a cause for concern for the West Indies.
But there is enough talent in the team to compete if not win against the home side. The Coach and the Captain will have to lead way in reinstating self-belief in the players.
The last time England toured the Caribbean, the hosts came out on top in a Test match and if they can deliver to their potential, the West Indies definitely can beat England in England too.